Facebook Pixel

Exercising for Sleep: Can It Help?

Rate This
exercise-helps-sleep Creatas Images/Creatas/Thinkstock

If you are having trouble sleeping at night, including exercise in your daily routine may help.

How It Helps

A good workout can make the night’s sleep much more restful. The University of Maryland Medical Center noted that regular exercise can help deepen your sleep.

So what is regular exercise? The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke recommended performing 20 to 30 minutes of exercise each day.

What Types of Exercises?

Do certain types of exercise provide greater sleep benefits? A study conducted at Northwestern Medicine investigated the effects of aerobic exercise in middle-aged and older adults who suffered from insomnia.

Twenty-three sedentary adults were included in the study. Most of the participants were women, and they were all age 55 and over and had insomnia and impaired daytime functioning. Participants in the aerobic physical activity group were in either one 30-to-40 minute exercise session four times a week, or in two 20-minute exercise sessions four times a week. These sessions lasted for 16 weeks.

The participants who were not in the aerobic physical activity group were in either educational or recreational activity groups, which met for 45 minutes three to five times a week for the same number of weeks. The press release from Northwestern University stated that participants in the aerobic physical activity group reported better sleep quality, increasing them from poor sleeper to good sleeper. In addition to improved health, the regular physical activity also decreased daytime sleepiness and depressive symptoms, and increased vitality.

The Don’ts for Exercise

While exercise can help promote good sleep, exercising too late at night, such as right before you go to bed, may end up causing problems falling asleep. The National Sleep Foundation noted that when working out, your body temperature rises and it can take up to six hours for your body temperature to drop.

Why is this important?

Add a CommentComments

There are no comments yet. Be the first one and get the conversation started!

Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.